Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Arvo Part, "Fratres"

I thought I'd go out on a limb here and try a 2oth century piece. Fratres, so I have been told, is an extremely famous piece of the 2oth century. It has been arranged for many different instruments. So many, you wouldn't believe. The recording I'm listening to sounds like an octet of cellos or something. I'm not gonna go into an analysis of classical form or harmonies because that would be pointless. The coolest part of this piece is its repetition. Above a drone consisting of an octave and fifth, lies a repeated melody. The cool thing about this is that there are a certain number of ordered pitches, "color", that are played in a repeated rhythm, or "talea." Mixed together, we can have a piece of unparalleled lengths. Although it sounds simple, it is still very beautiful. For a twentieth century piece, this is hauntingly peaceful and melodic.

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